New Year’s Eve – 2013

2013 was the most amazing year of my life. Many challenges but even more blessings! From 8 weeks on hospital bed rest, giving birth to Lucas, or 5 successful surgeries on Lucas’ esophagus, all of these memories and more helped make this year so special. Can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring. Praying for a less stressful year. 🙂

By the way, since we started the blog in May, we’ve had almost 7,000 views from 21 countries. Thank you to everyone who has been following our journey! We are grateful to have you praying for & supporting Lucas. May all of you have a blessed 2014!!!

Fun Day with Nani & Papa

Today, Nani & Papa babysat Lucas while our nanny was on vacation. Let me tell you, Lucas had a blast! Nani feed Lucas level 1 baby food for the 1st time. She did a fantastic job! Also, Nani brought over a Santa beard to put on Lucas. As you will see below, Lucas was willing to play along with it for a few pictures. Eventually, you can see the immense unhappiness in his eyes. So funny!

Big thank you to Papa & Nani for taking down & packing away all of our Christmas decorations today. You guys did so well that we look forward to hiring you again next year. Ha!
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1st Christmas!

Lucas’ 1st Christmas was extra special. Lucas mastered the art of holding on to a corner of the wrapping paper while mom and dad pulled the present away to unwrap a present. Shockingly, he preferred eating wrapping paper to playing with most of the new toys!
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7 Month Birthday!

On last Saturday, Lucas turned 7 months old! Now, he is sitting up on his own without support, scooting on his own up to a few feet, loves to suck on his hands and feet, makes fun clicking and ahhh sounds, and his bottom 2 and top 2 teeth are in. Plus, he weighs over 18.5 lbs and is  27.4 inches long. We have a big strong baby boy who is ready to explore the world!
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January Surgery

Dr. Egan (our normal surgeon) informed us that it is time to transition Lucas to a GI surgeon named Dr. McOmber who performs 99% of the GI surgeries at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. So he is extremely skilled. Dr. McOmber and a few other elite GI surgeons across the nation started to use a unique balloon dilation technique named strictureplasty on a esophagus strictures about a year and a half ago. Dr. McOmber said they have seen a significant decrease in the amount of tears with the new technique. During our next surgery, Dr. McOmber will look at Lucas’ esophagus and decide if it is best to use the old or new dilation technique.

The next surgery is scheduled for Monday, January 6 at 11:15am at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

1st Christmas Decorating Party

On last Saturday, we had a Christmas decorating event at the house. Bob (Papa), Peggy (Nani), and Lou (Papa) came over to offer some assistance. Papa Lou was constantly making hot chocolate to keep everyone in the Christmas mood. Bob (Papa) was a work horse who kept things moving along at a fast pace. Peggy (Nani) was lucky to have the fun duty of watching Lucas. Nani lovingly walked Lucas in the stroller forever. It is amazing how quickly our home became Christmas central with the many extra hands. We enjoyed the help so much that we decided this will be an annual Christmas tradition! Next year we will have even more help when Gayle (Gigi) and Walter are able to make it.

Of course, Lucas loved all of the attention and time with everyone! Lucas was all smiles.
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Dilation Results

Lucas had another successful surgery! His esophagus was stretched from 9mm to 10mm. Dr. Egan said he probably could have stretched Lucas another 1mm. But he decided to be safe and not risk a leak. Dr. Egan said our comments before surgery were fresh on his mind. Before surgery we always remind Dr. Egan that “Lucas is our world and we’re placing our everything in your hands. Remember we’re fine with a small stretch of only 1mm at a time. Baby steps are good & safe.” Dr. Egan said the esophagus looks so good that he’s not sure if we’ll need another dilation for a while. Dr. Egan is checking with the head doctor of the GI department at Phoenix Children’s Hospital to get his thoughts. Then Dr. Egan will fill us in on the game plan.

Big exciting news! Lucas’ esophagus is now large enough the he can try level 1 solid foods!!! This is a huge step!!!

Pictures before surgery. We’re always happy and having fun.
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Pictures after surgery. Pretty stressful.
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Dilation Tomorrow

Lucas’ next dilation is on Thursday at 1:30pm. This will be our 4th dilation surgery at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The goal is to have a dilation every 3 – 4 weeks until Lucas’ esophagus is up to 12 millimeters. After last month’s surgery we got up to 9mm. Normally we are going up 1mm per surgery. So we foresee hitting this 1st stage goal of 12mm by the end of February. But we’re not pushing the surgeons to go any faster. We are fine with achieving a small increase each time rather than stretching the esophagus too much and causing a tear.

Asking for prayers for Lucas. May he be gently held in the Lord’s protective arms.